Lent, Part 6: As the Prophets Foretold
Today we want to consider Yeshua (Jesus). Many believers today do not totally understand that the prophets prophesied about the sufferings of Yeshua (Jesus). Many believe that the Jews crucified our Messiah, and so they have had ill feelings toward them, calling them Christ-killers, when in fact it was not them, but it was God’s plan from the beginning. Isaiah writes in chapter 53:10, “But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; to render Himself as a guilt offering.” John tells us in chapter 10 starting at verse 14, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” Verses 17-18: “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have the authority to lay it down, and the authority to take it up again. This commandment I receive from My Father.”
So let’s look at what the prophets spoke of our suffering servant Yeshua. Despite how Hollywood portrays Yeshua, He was Jewish and He dressed like His kinsmen and he kept Torah and Sabbath and His words were the words of His heritage. Paul tells us in Hebrews 2:17, “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” Isaiah writes of Him in chapter 53:2-3, “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form of majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.” The Father did not want Yeshua to attract people because of His looks, but for His words. Isaiah continues in verses 3-4, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our grief He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.”
Our Messiah took upon Himself our sorrows, our loneliness, our troubles; He knows, He feels, and because of that, He is our mediator between us and God and He lives to make intercession for us (1 Timothy 2:5-6, Hebrews 7:25-26). Hebrews 2:18 tells us, “For since He Himself was tempted in that He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Again in Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Verse 7: “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.”
The Bible tells us to do all things without complaining and grumbling. Believers are to follow in the footsteps of their Messiah. We are to bless and not curse, we are to love our enemies and pray for them. This is so far from our culture today. We want revenge, we want to be outraged, we want to be heard; but our Messiah who had no fault was treated with contempt and injustice and yet He did not cry out, nor did he speak a word. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” Isaiah 52:14: “His appearance was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.”
Our sins from each one of us—every sin—was laid upon Him. The weight, the guilt, the shame, all that we feel, our hurts, and our brokenness all became His brokenness; it all came upon Him: the world’s sins, iniquities, and transgressions all were laid upon Him. No one murdered him except our sins. He was our sacrifice, the precious Lamb of God. How can we not crucify our flesh? How can we not walk in His footsteps? How can we be friends with the world and make Him our enemy? Paul tells us in Hebrews 10:26, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” The Bible tells us not to neglect such a great salvation.
Let us remember; let us follow in His footsteps, “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).